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Our main twin related problem...!

(7 Posts)
zaarin2003 Wed 24-Aug-11 11:12:50

Hi all,

I feel a bit guilty about asking so many questions and never giving answers, but hey, we appreciate all the help so far!

This is a question about the main thing that has been bothering myself and DW. Basically, the situation one of the other of us finds ourselves in is this and we'd like some advice on how to sort it.

It can occur in the morning for their morning nap shortly after I go off to work, in the night time if one of us is incapacitated (like in the shower, as opposed to comatose), or any time during the day for naps.

Basically, using the morning as an example, after waking for the day, both twin DSs (3.5 months old) have a feed at 8am, their breakfast, strapped in their bouncy chairs. Its definately our routine now and they seem to take the bottle well and sit in their reclining chairs relaxed. Once fed, they get very sleepy, and not just because they often have a bit of a disrupted and wakeful 5-7am, but because 8:30 or 9am is when their morning nap is.

However... the issue is that usually neither of them, no matter how droopy their tired eyes get, can settle themselves. They lie back looking exhausted, but until you pick one of them up they'll get more and more vocal and restless until they are crying these tired sounding cries, often until they cry into a red faced stupor.

Holding them in your arms in a vertical position soothes them, but they cant sleep in your arms upright! Lowering them into a horizontal lying down in the arms position, sets them off again!

Its like they associate being horizontal with sleep and they don't like it even if really tired. I myself was a bad sleeper, often reducing my mother to tears as a baby and staying up until the small hours when a young boy sitting on the stairs as I hated being in bed. Even now I like to stay up as late as possible. SLeeping feels like a waste of the day to me. Perhaps they've inherited this rubbish?

Anyway, by picking one up you can eventually sooth him. Even if placing him in the cot or the sofa or whatever it is that his back gently comes to rest with instantly wakes him up again for the first several times.

The thing is, that it takes two people. With only two average strength arms you can't pick up and sooth and put down (repeatedly ad nausium until it works) two babies at the same time. And if you can... how!?

Consequently we each take a baby to sooth. If there is only one of us.... it doesn't really work. One baby will cry whilst the other is being soothed and not soothed very well if his brother is crying! We're not happy leaving one to cry either as they just get more desperate and inconsolable the longer you leave them. Consequently if we're on our own at home alone the only way to get them both to sleep seems to be to let them rest on our laps. Meaning we're pinned.

Whats the solution? Would we really need to take one upstairs and leave his brother to cry out of earshot? It seems really harsh? Or is there some special Twin Hold whereby you can carry and sooth and put two down simultaneously?

We would really appreciate some learned advice!


Cerubina Wed 24-Aug-11 12:27:43

Balls. I typed a long reply and Mumsnet ate it.

Gist was that I recommend buying a playmat for them to spend waking time on, so they don't only associate lying down with sleeping. You/DW will need to get down on the floor with them a lot to entertain/distract them, but they do get better at entertaining themselves in time. It's also a change of scene and position from their chairs, which I think they do appreciate.

As for naps, I suggest you should take them upstairs to their room and settle them in their cots. Trying to nap in daylight with other stuff going on around is more difficult for them, though it works OK in the early days. I take mine up at about 8.45am and 11.45am for their naps, put them in a 0.5tog sleeping bag fully dressed, draw the curtains and tell them it's time for a nap. The room isn't at all dark but it is out of the way of everything else and these nap times are when I can wash bottles, do laundry, read emails, etc etc - they are important for us as well as them. The afternoon nap I don't generally do upstairs as it's when I might go out and about, and I think it's good if they have a modicum of adaptability about where they can drop off. But whatever you do, keep in consistent in terms of time of day, place and what is happening. They may well protest loudly at first but mine took to it after a couple of days when they began to take on board the predictable nature of it.

londonlottie Thu 25-Aug-11 12:04:58

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Mandy21 Thu 25-Aug-11 13:29:19

Would also agree that you need to bit the bullet and put them to sleep upstairs. I was in a similar position in that they had naps as and when they needed them in the early days, all downstairs, mostly in their bouncy chairs - I'd sit there bouncing their bouncy chairs with my feet as I sang to them / stroked them etc. I then went to visit a friend when they were about 4 months old and she took her similar aged baby upstairs and came straight back down - no settling required. I was flabbergasted and thought "I need to be able to do that"!! As the others have said, we went through a couple of days having to go back in to settle them but stuck with it - naps in their cots (in sleeping bags etc) and they quickly learnt to settle themselves!

MadCow007 Mon 05-Sep-11 20:47:07

Hi, I'm 'Mrs Zaarin_2003' and I really wanted to just come on here to say a HUGE thank you to Cerubina and everyone else for posting regarding our problems with DS's and their sleep issues. For the last week I have taken your advice and started putting them upstairs in their cots for both their morning and lunch time naps, and they have responded really well! So it really does show that sometimes its the parents that hold things back (alot of the time when it comes to us). It's been an incredible experience as it's really given me the chance to consider that I will be able to look after the twins on my own, and do it well.

Since doing this however they both seem to sleep for about 2 hours during the day (entire) whereas they were averaging nearly 5 hours when they were being held to sleep. Do you think they will start to sleep for longer the more used to the new routine they become, or could it be that as they're 4 months now, they will naturally be sleeping less? How do I encourage them to get more shut eye? I always try and re-settle them after waking to see if I can get an extra 30 mins even, but they just cry and get angry which definitely wakes them up. Even if I can see they're not going to go back to sleep again, I do try and leave them in their cot with the mobile on as I want them to get used to spending time in there.

Does anyone have any other advice or tips which i could try please? Thanks once again for all the previous responses. I don't think I would have had the guts to try this without your help.


londonlottie Wed 07-Sep-11 12:13:29

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Snowfalls108 Thu 08-Sep-11 20:03:34

Hi MC,
Mine are also just over 4 months.
We have the following set up (it takes into account that I have a 2 year old as well). We're generally up at approx 7.30am. 2 hours later we set off for a walk and the babies have a sleep in the pram for about half an hour to an hour. 2 hours after they wake up they go back down for another nap, this one I put them in their sleeping bags and in their cot. I've found that they wake after an hour, but if I give them a feed they will settle back down for another hour. This means that I usually have an hour to get on with stuff and then I go and lie down with them for an hour and get a nap! Brilliant win win situation! They then have another nap at about 4.30/5ish for about half an hour to 45 minutes and this is normally in the pram again or in the car.
I would emphasise the importance of the lunch time nap as that's the one they'll keep as they get older and it's an absolute life saver.
I hope that's of some help for you.

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